• Kyodo

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Japanese-language school students in the central Japan prefecture of Aichi will soon be able to extend their stay in the country for a year after graduation to search for jobs in the area.

The prefecture, home to Toyota Motor Corp., was recently designated as a special strategic zone and is hoping to give local companies better access to promising foreign students.

“There are many in the prefecture, in particular manufacturers, that are advancing abroad into areas such as Southeast Asia,” an Aichi official said. “We would like international students to stay and play an active role.”

A foreign student attending a Japanese-language school who is looking for employment in the country is typically required to be offered a job while studying, or re-enroll in a domestic university or vocational college to continue their job hunt.

The system has been criticized for the toll it takes on applicants, as unsuccessful individuals are forced to return home.

It targets those who have arrived after graduating from university overseas and have plans to be based in the certified area.

Japanese-language schools will be required to hold regular meetings with graduates about their job hunt and introduce prospective employers.

As of May 2019, 3,273 foreign students attended Japanese-language schools in Aichi. The prefecture was designated as a special zone on Sep. 14 and will begin accepting applications from October.

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